Students writing letters to health leaders

December 2014…A new Healthy NewsWorks project this year encourages children to read about one of our health leaders and write a letter to him or her. The letters will be considered for publication in our health-focused papers, on our website, and in our 2015 book.

The Letters to a Leader project has been kicked off by newspaper staffs in a number of Healthy NewsWorks schools this fall.

Below are excerpts from third graders at Gotwals Elementary School. The letters are written to three leaders whose profiles appear in Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2014: Dr. Raina Merchant, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Media and Health Innovation Lab; Juan Guerra, executive director of ACLAMO Family Centers; and Dr. Patricia DeRusso, director of the Healthy Weight Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dear Dr. Merchant,

I love that you see a phone as a powerful tool to quickly spread health information to the public and potentially save lives. … Your job is important to the world and the people in it because you care about them. From, Brianna

Dear Mr. Guerra,

I wish I had your job because you help people and you help them learn. I love how you helped an 11-year-old [who] came from Mexico and didn’t understand English. From, Adilene

Dear Dr. DeRusso,

I read your article and it’s wonderful. … I work hard to be healthy and focused. I like fruits, but not veggies that much. I think you are a great role model. … One day I would like to become a health leader with you. From, Jamie


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